Monday, March 30, 2009

20,000 Miles

So last week was Spring Break.

You would think that the College where I work would be empty, but actually it was a beehive of activity.

The contractors were busy pouring concrete on one side of my office, and busy building a building on the other side of me. In the parking lot a tractor safety class was being held. In another parking lot, facilities was using a scissors-lift to check the parking lot lights. Sometime in the middle of the week, the Diesel shop needed a couple of large machines picked up and another dropped off.

That's a lot of activity for someplace that is not even really open.

But today was day one of Spring Term 2009, and I was thoughtful regarding a post in another blog that I read.

He was talking about special parking for low emissions vehicles and how motorcycles usually fit into that category.

Generally, motorcycles fit into the "cheap, economical and (depending on your point of view) environmental friendly" category.

So, I was thinking about this as I left work today, and was delighted to discover that I was only 4 miles away from 20,000 miles. After frittering away three and a half miles, I took a before picture:

Then I took an after picture:

20,000 miles.

That is a lot of miles on a motorcycle that is really considered to be a "starter bike" in the motorcycle world.

A couple of years ago, someone started a discussion on a Honda Rebel Newsgroup that I belong to regarding the economics of motorcycles.

It was inevitable that the more numbers minded members would work out the numbers of owning a motorcycle.

Generally, it works out like this:

MSRP for a 2009 Honda Rebel: $3399
Arai Quantum II Helmet: $525 (or a less expensive brand, for about $100)
Insurance Premuim Per Year: $230
Basic Rider Training: $150
Riders Skills Practice: $90
Advanced Rider Training: $150
Revit Jacket: $450
Winter Gloves: $90
Summer Gloves: $70
Willie and Max Saddlebags: $250
Floorboards from Jacks Rebel Warehouse: $139
Yearly Maintenance: est. $200
Gas: $4.33 per fill up (I'm sorry, how much were you guys in the minivans spending on a fill up during that last gas price hike?)

So while some costs are only spent once (motorcycle, training courses, ect), some are spent more often (yearly, every few years, or every week) and it was decided by the person who did the numbers that really, motorcycles are only economical if you were going to buy a second vehicle anyway. Then really, you would spend less.

But, the poster also pointed out, rather astutely I might add:

YOU DO HAVE THAT WONDERFUL MOTORCYCLE FEELING, which is the biggest and best advantage, and one cannot really put a dollar value on this!

That wonderful motorcycle feeling.

I originally got a motorcycle in 2005 because I was not interested in spending $4.50 a gallon for gas and was really only intent on using it to commute to work and back in the summer.

My sister said once that when I got on my motorcycle, I never really got off.

And she is right.

I discovered that wonderful motorcycle feeling and found that even though it costs me a bit more to run the motorcycle than it does to run my pickup, I prefer the motorcycle because of the "wonderful motorcycle feeling".

And part of that "wonderful motorcycle feeling" is what I paid to fill it up today:



Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Need Not Apply - Take 2

I realize that this is rather petty, but I am not going to let this go.

Another quick article in the local paper today caught my attention.

Apparently the ignorant tight ass society is trying again to make a go of making a club.

New motorcycle club to meet Friday

Anyone interested in starting a new road brother chapter motorcycle club can meet at 5 p.m. Friday at Chasers Bar on Second Avenue in downtown Albany.

Members must have an American-made motorcycle 880cc or bigger.

For more information, call Westside at (503) 851-7529.

Apparently, the cc requirement is down from 883, to 880, and they are meeting again, so I am forced to wonder if enough people showed up.

But I still don't want to be in your dumb group.



Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Need Not Apply

I perked up at reading the headline:

Riders invited to start new motorcycle club

So I clicked on the article, and found it to be rather short:

Motorcyclists interested in starting a club for riders of American-made bikes with engines that are at least 883cc’s are invited to a meeting at 5 p.m. Friday at Humpty’s Dump, 916 Old Salem Road N.E. For more information, contact Westside at (503) 851-7529.


I didn't want to be in your dumb group anyway.



Monday, March 2, 2009


So it's been raining off and on for the last several weeks.

The week before the weather was iffy, but it didn't rain.

As I was turning into the church driveway, I saw two motorcycles down the road. I hoped that they would turn in to church, but statistically, I knew that they wouldn't.

Imagine my surprise when I found that they did indeed turn into church, and we all parked together in two spaces.

I have been seeing more motorcycles in the parking lot lately. Last Sunday it was two cruisers, a month or two ago it was a dual-sport. Sadly, the only motorcycle that I see regularly is the Harley Davidson Springer Classic, and that is during the summer months and not very often. I only saw the dual-sport once, and yesterday I forgot to check the sanctuary for the two cruiser riders I saw the week before.

I forgot to check because, yesterday on the way to church I got caught in the weather.

The weather was okay the week before, and it wasn't raining when I walked out the door, so I didn't think twice about starting out. Except for Summer, the weather in Oregon is always grumpy.

In Oregon, if you don't ride in the rain, then you don't have a very long riding season.

Coming out of Starbucks on the way to church, I felt a few raindrops. I was hoping that what I currently felt would be the end, but it turns out that what I felt was the 'scouting party' for the actual rain.

It wasn't really pouring, but since I don't wear any protective legwear, my jeans were rather wet, due mostly to the spray from the road. Good thing I didn't have to ride any concrete roads on the way to church!

For the first time ever, I wore my helmet up to the awning in front of the church door. I don't mind rain, it's just that the ends of my hair were already wet from the rain, and I was not interested in getting the rest of it soaked too.

We had some missionaries at church speak briefly about their mission.

It turns out that they are going to Papua, New Guinea, where it's very mountainous and not very many roads. Travel between remote areas is done by small planes. He was a pilot and his job (for I believe Wycliffe, probably spelled wrong) was to fly supplies and other things around.

He related the following story:

It takes about 20 years for the Bible to be translated into the native language of a people.

One translator, who had just finished a translation, had developed a relationship with one of the native folks where he was stationed.

The native guy was a smoker who rolled his own.

Before leaving, the translator gave the native guy a copy of the newly translated Bible, knowing that the guy would use it for his cigarettes.

All that he asked of the guy was that before smoking it, to read it first.

Several years later the translator was at a Christian Conference, where he saw the native guy he gave the Bible to, was attending, and struck up a conversation.

They guy said:

"I smoked Matthew."

"I smoked Mark."

"I smoked Luke."

"But when I got to John 3:16, I decided that I couldn't smoke the Bible anymore."